Brady and Defour are only injury worries for Dyche

Burnley's Robbie Brady vies for possession with Port Vale's Callum Evans''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football Pre-Season Friendly - Saturday July 20th 2019  - Port Vale v Burnley - Vale Park - Burslem''World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's Robbie Brady vies for possession with Port Vale's Callum Evans''Photographer Chris Vaughan/CameraSport''Football Pre-Season Friendly - Saturday July 20th 2019 - Port Vale v Burnley - Vale Park - Burslem''World Copyright � 2019 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
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Robbie Brady and Steven Defour are expected to be Burnley’s only injury absences on Saturday as the Clarets kick-off the Premier League season at home to Southampton.

And James Tarkowski and Kevin Long are both expected to return to the squad after missing Saturday’s final pre-season game against Parma on Saturday.

Tarkowski and Long have both been linked with moves during the transfer window, which closes at 5 p.m. today, with the club confident of holding onto the former.

At the time of writing, Leicester City were unwilling to pay the figure which would entice Burnley to sell, thought to be in the region of £50m.

Sean Dyche said this morning: “Tarky and Kev Log have a strong chance of being available, they’ve both been back on the grass this week and both are feeling a lot easier.

“Robbie is touch and go, he’s struggling with his ribs, it’s a minor thing, an intercostal rib pain, or a line fracture - they both get treated the same, but it’s sore. So he’s the biggest doubt.

“And Steven is still not there yet. He’s at the stage where he’s getting back on the grass jogging again.”

On Tuesday, Ben Gibson, Charlie Taylor and Matej Vydra all played 90 minutes behind closed doors at Blackburn Rovers’ Brockhall training ground.

Regardless of what happened on deadline day, Dyche is happy with how his squad are shaping up: “The squad is in good shape, there is a real competitive edge, which has shown in pre-season.

“But it’s only when the whistle blows when we find out if that work brings immediate payback.

“I’m really pleased with the competition, you want players to put down a marker in pre-season and say ‘I’m getting picked’, and there’s been so many.

“There’s been a real clarity from the players in pre-season, really good fitness levels, and we’ve had much better luck with injuries, despite a few niggles.”

While there has be no squad overhaul, Dyche admits he has some tough decisions to make: “The thinking is to continually improve that competitive edge, that belief and faith that if we want, or need, to make a change, they are more than ready.

“That takes time for us with the finances, it’s hard to bring in six players at a time, where they are all ready to play, so year after year we have been layering up, and stimulating the players who have been with us a while, and we’ve found a way.

“Currently we’re in a position where we’re really competitive.”

Dyche likes to play mixed football, and isn’t expected to stray too far from that ethos again: “You’re always looking to evolve, that and to win games.

“I’m not brandist as you know, we played mixed last year, having to fight and work, and other games showing good performances with the ball.

“That will be the mix we have to find.

“We have had a good pre-season, and I’m pleased with the way we have played at times.

“But one thing we learned last year, was we went back to that simplicity over the second half of the season and had a better half in terms of points and goals.

“At the end of the day, I like keeping it out at one end and scoring at the other!”